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Friday, 11 June 2010

Ex-gang member recounts torture at Burge trial | Tribune Search - Better News Results

Ex-gang member recounts torture at Burge trial | Tribune Search - Better News Results: "convicted burglar and longtime heroin addict said today he confessed to a 1983 murder after he was beaten and suffocated by Chicago police detectives then under the command of Cmdr. Jon Burge.
Gregory Banks, 46, who served a little more than seven years in prison until his conviction was thrown out because his confession had been coerced, erupted in anger as he recounted his arrest nearly three decades ago.
The testimony came at Burge's trial in federal court on charges he lied to conceal the torture of Banks and other criminal suspects.
Banks said he had been left alone in an interview room at Area 2 police headquarters handcuffed to a wall for about six hours in October 1983 when Sgt. John Byrne and detectives Peter Dignan and Charles Grunhard entered the room about 2:30 a.m.
'Byrne said, 'We know you did it. We want to know why you did it,'' Banks testified.
When he denied any involvement in the murder, Banks said, Byrne 'pulled a nickel-plated handgun and put it in my mouth.'
When he offered more denials, Banks said, Byrne struck him with a flashlight in the chest, knocking him to the floor. The detectives beat and kicked him.
'Peter Dignan -- I'll never forget Peter Dignan,' said Banks"

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